Weekly Review — October 4, 2016, 1:34 pm

Weekly Review

A train derails in New Jersey, Rodrigo Duterte likens himself to Adolf Hitler, and a blind hoarder in Brooklyn discovers she has been living with the decomposing corpse of her son for 20 years

WeeklyReviewAvatar-Sherrill-WPU.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debated each other at Hofstra University in New York. During the debate, Trump stated that not paying income tax makes him “smart” and speculated that the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee may have been perpetrated by “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”[1] A poll found that 53 percent of Americans thought Clinton won the debate.[2] Congress voted to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that will allow American victims of terrorist attacks to sue complicit foreign governments; the White House announced the United States would be sending 615 additional ground troops into Iraq; and the state of Texas pulled out of the federal Refugee Resettlement Program.[3][4][5] In South Carolina, a 14-year-old boy killed his father and then shot two students and a teacher at an elementary school playground, and in California, police shot and killed Alfred Olango, an unarmed black man who was holding a vape device.[6][7] It was reported that police officers use confidential databases to look up personal information on co-workers, celebrities, and their significant others.[8][9] In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte likened himself to Adolf Hitler while addressing his plan for the country’s estimated 3 million drug users. “I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said.[10]

A New Jersey Transit train derailed and crashed in the Hoboken Terminal, killing one woman waiting on the platform and injuring 108 other people; Dutch-led investigators concluded that the missile system that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine was brought into the country from Russia and returned the same night; and a Russian company debuted a new model of children’s bed in the shape of a Buk missile launcher as part of its Future Defenders of the Motherland product line.[11][12][13] The United States abandoned talks with Russia over Syria after Russia refused to end the bombing of Aleppo, and the Syrian government attempted to attract tourists to the city with a new advertisement featuring music from Game of Thrones.[14][15][16] Colombian voters rejected a peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that would have ended a 52-year-long war in which about 220,000 people have died; the International Criminal Court declared the destruction of antiquities to be a war crime; and a French civil servant sued his government over the right to smile in passport photos.[17][18][19][20]

Hackers took control of a digital billboard in Jakarta and played a pornographic film, a church in Western Australia had its windows broken by a gang of children between the ages of four and eight who were armed with small rocks, and a Pittsburgh man was given 30 days to catch a wild rooster on his property before being penalized by the city. “I called the zoo,” the man said in court, “but they said they didn’t have the capabilities to catch a rooster.”[21][22][23] Forty-six French cows broke out of their pen and 22 ate themselves to death in a food store, and a Memphis woman returned home to find two burglars having sex on her couch. “They just had a big old nasty party,” she said.[24][25] The Bureau of Land Management replaced a Utah trail marker that said “Negro Bill” with one saying “Grandstaff Trailhead,” and the Fairbanks, Alaska, school board proposed changing the name of an elementary school memorializing a pedophile nicknamed the “Strawberry King.”[26][27] A 68-year-old Florida millionaire discovered that his 24-year-old wife was his biological granddaughter.[28] Eight employees fired for abuse at a Colorado center for the disabled blamed supernatural powers when residents were found with words like “kill” and “die” etched into their skin.[29] An elderly, legally blind hoarder in Brooklyn discovered that she had been living with the decomposing corpse of her son for 20 years, and doctors speculated that a Utah man may have contracted the Zika virus from his dying father’s tears.[30][31] The Rosetta space probe flew into a comet after completing a successful 12-year mission, and, in Reykjavik, city officials turned off all street lights to improve the view of the northern lights.[32]

Share
Single Page

More from Matthew Sherrill:

Weekly Review March 28, 2017, 5:30 pm

Weekly Review

Paul Ryan fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump goes golfing for the thirteenth time as president of the United States, and rivers in India and New Zealand are granted full human rights

Weekly Review February 7, 2017, 4:22 pm

Weekly Review

The White House puts Iran “on notice,” Trump threatens to send U.S. troops into Mexico, and Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter

Index January 20, 2017, 2:09 pm

Cabinet of Curiosities

A numerical investigation of Donald Trump’s appointees

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Constitution in Crisis·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern ­political life.

Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-­first century? Should we abolish it entirely?

This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-­first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Article
Power of Attorney·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 2015, a white police officer named Stephen Rankin shot and killed an unarmed, eighteen-­year-­old black man named William Chapman. “This is my second one,” he told a bystander seconds after firing the fatal shots, seemingly in reference to an incident four years earlier, when he had shot and killed another unarmed man, an immigrant from Kazakhstan. Rankin, a Navy veteran, had been arresting Chapman for shoplifting when, he claimed, Chapman charged him in a manner so threatening that he feared for his life, leaving him no option but to shoot to kill—­the standard and almost invariably successful defense for officers when called to account for shooting civilians. Rankin had faced no charges for his earlier killing, but this time, something unexpected happened: Rankin was indicted on a charge of first-­degree murder by Portsmouth’s newly elected chief prosecutor, thirty-­one-year-­old Stephanie Morales. Furthermore, she announced that she would try the case herself, the first time she had ever prosecuted a homicide. “No one could remember us having an actual prosecution for the killing of an unarmed person by the police,” Morales told me. “I got a lot of feedback, a lot of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t try this case. If you don’t win, it may affect your reelection. Let someone else do it.’ ”

Article
Carlitos in Charge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I was in Midtown, sitting by a dry fountain, making a list of all the men I’d slept with since my last checkup—doctor’s orders. Afterward, I would head downtown and wait for Quimby at the bar, where there were only alcoholics and the graveyard shift this early. I’d just left the United Nations after a Friday morning session—likely my last. The agenda had included resolutions about a worldwide ban on plastic bags, condemnation of a Slobodan Miloševic statue, sanctions on Israel, and a truth and reconciliation commission in El Salvador. Except for the proclamation opposing the war criminal’s marble replica, everything was thwarted by the United States and a small contingent of its allies. None of this should have surprised me. Some version of these outcomes had been repeating weekly since World War II.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A group of researchers studying the Loch Ness Monster did not rule out the possibility of its existence, but speculated that it is possibly a giant eel.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today